Disabled Andrew’s race to give his vows before he becomes wheelchair-bound - A man with a degenerative condition wants to marry the woman of his dreams – before it’s too late for him to stand to give his vows. Andrew Mullen, 39, faces a race against time to say “I do” to Deborah Langley, 44, before he is permanently confined to a wheelchair.
They started a new window-cleaning business which was a huge success. But within two years, Andrew suffered from crippling pain in his legs. “My whole body would shut down and I would collapse on the spot,” he said. Test after test failed to find the cause. Andrew admitted: “Sometimes the pain was just a dull ache but at other times, I felt like I just wanted someone to chop my legs off. “I couldn’t live with it any more but as much as I did not want to live, I knew the reward of my family was worth it.” The couple moved to Hartlepool in 2009 so Andrew could be nearer the support of his family. It was only then that doctors diagnosed his string of related conditions – degenerative spinal disease, facet joint arthritis, mechanical back pain and nerve damage.
His constant support has been Deborah. The couple have nine children between them with two still living at home – 13-year-old son Down’s Syndrome sufferer Shay Mullen for whom Deborah is a full-time carer for, and seven-year-old son Samuel. “Despite the ups and downs with my health, Deb has been a rock throughout”, said Andrew. “If I could have only one wish, it would be to win this wedding as Debs really does deserve it.” Andrew is now on medication, can stand with the aid of a stick, and gets around using a wheelchair. But he wants to stand up as he takes his vows. He explained: “It is that last piece of independence. “Marriage is very important. When you give yourself, you give yourself fully to your partner. Part of that is a man standing up and looking into his partner’s eyes to give her his vows.”
Will you marry me? Susan pops the question - A woman is taking advantage of Leap Year to propose to her boyfriend. Susan Elizabeth Evans of Rhyl got down on one knee today as February 29 is traditionally the only day a woman can propose to her man. Prospective fiancee Susan, 32, has known her boyfriend “for ages”, but began dating David Gore, 34, when she clicked with him after a friend’s party five years ago. She said: “I did a brave thing last week. I only booked my wedding for next year but my fella has not even asked me to marry him yet! I just walked in the house and told him. He took it well to be fair. He said ‘you booked it, you should ask me!’ So this is my official proposal.”
Susan, former Rhyl high pupil and full time mother, said she would try to persuade David, a self employed window cleaner, to take a day off work to celebrate the first day of their engagement. She said: “He comes home with flowers quite a lot, but we haven’t got much time to be romantic or go out for meals because we have six children between us. It’s a busy household. “I’m not telling him I’ve spoken to the Rhyl Journal. If he gets today off, I’ll take him the paper and a plastic ring for now – or maybe buy a packet of Haribo and use of those rings. I’ll think of something!” The Susan, who was born and bred in Rhyl, and David who is originally from Liverpool, had their first child together last year.